Mom Explains Why She Doesn't Teach Her Son To Share, And People Are Divided
One of the first lessons that most parents aspire to teach their children is the importance of sharing. It is, after all, an essential part of socializing when they're young and their world revolves around toys.
But, as us adults know, it's also pretty important when we get older too - even if it's something as simple as realizing that it's a better idea to share doing chores with your partner instead of leaving them to do the dishes themselves (seriously, don't risk it).
Incredibly, however, one mom has recently gone viral because she bucked this age old societal rule and decided to teach her son about the importance of not sharing instead. Why? Well, she explained her reason to the good people of the internet, and instead of inciting outage, it inspired most of them was shared a whopping 207,000 times and counting.
Taking to Facebook to explain why she had taught her son the importance of not sharing, Alanya Kolberg wrote that when her son was approached by no less than six boys and asked to share his Transformer toy, he was clearly "overwhelmed" by the situation, and unsure what to do, he looked to her for advice.
Instead of encouraging him to share the toy, as most parents would expect, she told her son that he should say no. And when the other boys complained to her that he hadn't shared with them, she simply told them that her son had just as much right to saying no to sharing his toys as he did to giving them consent to playing with them too.
And, let's face it, having the courage to say no is just as important a life lesson as knowing when to say yes. If you say yes to everything in life, more often than not, you will consent to things you don't want to do.
Unfortunately, however, what Kolberg said to her son was met with a less than enthusiastic response by the other parents in the park who adhered to the age-old belief that if a child is asked to share their toys by another youngster, they should consent, regardless of whether or not they actually want to share.
She then went onto explain that in just the same way as adult isn't be expected to share their food with anyone who asks, neither should children be automatically expected to share their toys - they do, after all, have the capacity to chose and had her son, Carson, wanted the other boys to play with his toy too, he'd have let them.
After writing this, Kolberg asked parents who might have reacted in a similar way to rethink their actions. Her son was clearly uncomfortable with the situation he found himself in and the boys weren't asking nicely to share his toys, they were demanding to be given something that wasn't theirs.
She added that this was an important life lesson for Carson and made a point of stressing that he was far from being a selfish child, having brought the toys to the park to share with another child who'd yet to arrive.
And because of how transferable the importance of being no is to a variety of situations, Kolberg's post won praise among other parents who agreed that it's important to teach your children to be good people as well as teaching them that if they don't want to do something, even if it's as simple as sharing a toy, they don't have to.
Commenters like Nancy Hunter then used the conversation sparked by the incident to explain that encouraging children to share should be a situational thing.
But, the internet being the internet, not everyone agreed with what Kolberg wrote. Some even remarked that this could have been an opportunity for Carson to make some new friends, but because his mom had discouraged him from sharing, it wasn't.
Now, while we've made our opinion about the importance of teaching children that they have the agency to consent clear, what's yours? Do you think Kolberg turned an innocent situation into something that it wasn't? Or was she simply saving her son from unnecessary upset?